Meet Our Instructors

Tahir Ahmad – Lead Instructor, Team Lightning Member & DL Crew MemberOur Instructors

  • Being the first and only worldwide to achieve membership into the elite ‘Team Lightning’ within Defence Lab.
  • Owner of the largest and fastest growing franchise / club within Defence Lab globally.
  • Member of the Board of Examiners for Defence Lab.
  • Defence Lab 2017 and 2018 ‘Franchisee of the Year’.
  • NEST Award Winner for ‘Business Growth 2018’.
  • Made DL Crew Member in less than 4 years.
  • Heading DL operations in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and India.

Martial Arts has always been Tahir’s Passion. At the age of 11, he started his martial arts journey like most people did back then with Karate and quickly became to be known in his school as the ‘Karate Kid’. However, he eventually came to the realisation that the real purpose of learning a martial art was not for a belt or some ego trip but in fact to learn how to effectively defend oneself and one’s loved ones. So without any hesitation and just before achieving his black belt, he left Karate in search for something more street effective.

Over the next 11 years, he trained in Muay Thai but again he felt that he needed something more.

So looking into and trying various other styles, his search eventually led him to ‘Defence Lab’ and being so impressed by its teachings, he knew that he had finally found what he was after for all these years. So much was his belief in this new and ever evolving fighting method that he even decided to leave his consultancy business to become a full-time Lead Instructor for ‘Defence Lab’.

His rise within Defence Lab in such a short space of time has been truly extraordinary.

Tahir has many years of experience teaching adults and children, as well as on a 1-2-1 basis. Although he has refused to be held back by out-dated techniques and has always been quick to adopt the best practices of the time, yet he still holds onto the traditional values of honesty, loyalty, integrity, discipline and strength of character, all of which he aims to pass onto each one of his students. By nature he is very friendly and out-going, who makes his students feel extremely welcome and ‘part of the family’ (so to speak). He is able to have a laugh and hold fun and enjoyable classes whilst at the same time not losing the seriousness of what is being taught.

Tahir genuinely believes that the progression of each student is a reflection of him as an Instructor and so he has a genuine desire to help each student achieve their personal goals. However, this is not to say that the student will not have to do their part. Persistence, effort and the desire to improve must come from within the student……bring these to the class, and you will not only achieve your personal goals, but you will certainly go beyond.

Welcome to the family of ‘Defence Lab’!

Tehseen Ahmad – Instructor & Team Storm Member

Our InstructorsWe are proud to have Tehseen as not only the youngest ever Instructor in the history of Defence Lab, worldwide, at the age of only 15 years but also the youngest ever Team Storm Member at the age of only 17 which is testament to his extraordinary physical skills as well as teaching skills.

Tehseen started his martial arts journey with his father (DL Crew Member Tahir Ahmad) from a very early age with Thai-boxing and a some grappling. However, he moved into Defence Lab as soon as Tahir became a DL Instructor.

Tehseen has picked up his father’s style of teaching, having shadowed Tahir from the very beginning. He is incredibly out-going and friendly with both kids and adults thoroughly enjoying his company. Despite his young age, he is highly respected by all students (and parents) and is able to successfully run classes for all age groups.

Farhaj Malik – Instructor & Team Storm Member

Our InstructorsMore than any other sport or activity it was always martial arts that attracted Farhaj. His martial arts journey began at an early age of 7, first with Judo, then Boxing and various other traditional and modern styles with the aim of trying to include and cover as many aspects and angles of self-defence.
Still searching for a system that answered all of his questions, he was eventually introduced to Defence Lab and it was an instant realisation to have finally found his answer. All aspects of self-defence in real life scenarios were covered including multiple attacker scenarios. He was so impressed that he switched from the dental industry into becoming a fulltime instructor for Defence Lab.
Farhaj has a sound ability to get on with people of all ages and backgrounds, thereby helping individuals to meet their needs according to their situation.

Mansoor Ahmad – Instructor

Our InstructorsLike most martial artists Mansoor started his journey early, at the age of around 9 with Karate. He practiced this art for a number of years but after witnessing a few school yard scraps and being in a small one himself he found that it hadn’t given him the results he desired. Disillusioned he turned away…

It was years later and only after almost being caught up in an assault at a tube station that Mansoor came to the realisation that he needed to learn how to defend himself. So he approached Defence Lab Lead Instructor Tahir Ahmad who was at the time proficient in a number of martial arts. After training with Tahir in these styles Mansoor inevitably joined him on his journey for a street effective martial art and came upon Defence Lab. This is where he felt “at home” with a martial art that dealt with multiple opponents, multiple levels and one that was living, breathing & constantly evolving!

Mansoor is an experienced teacher who is very approachable and who also possesses a great sense of humour. Therefore his classes are both informative and fun at the same time.

In addition to this, Mansoor has a background in psychology and more specifically in the psychology of organisations and work. He has worked with, designed and run training/development workshops for a number of companies – ranging from large multi-nationals to small charities. All this adds to his skills as a Defence Lab Instructor!

Tony Palladino – Instructor

Our Instructors

Like many, Tony grew up in an era where Karate was all the rage. Everyone wanted to be the “Karate Kid!” Starting at the age of 7, Tony reached top rank by the age of 14.

His passion and enthusiasm for Karate as a reality based self-defence system took a severe blow during an unfortunate street altercation a few years later when Tony found himself outnumbered 4 to 1.

This experience would leave a lasting impression on him and so, a new quest began for Tony in trying to find answers to questions, Karate had up until that point, been unable to give.

Having experimented with various other martial arts systems such as Wing Chun & Krav Maga, his light bulb moment came when he entered Tahir Ahmad’s Defence Lab in Worcester Park, Surrey for the first time. Andy Normans thought provoking and ever evolving DNA system was able to provide some of those answers in moments.

Tony’s passion now lies in trying to teach and help others find their own answers and reach their own personal goals, whether they be physical, psychological or both.

A real family man with solid core values, his confident yet affable approach creates a real fun and energetic experience, without losing any of the importance of why we are all there.

Tony offers private lessons for individuals and groups as well as regular classes.

Chris Kistan – CIT (undertaking ‘Certified Instructor Training’)

Our Instructors

Chris Kistan is a Combat Trainer who has been the Lead Combat Trainer for the following clubs:

  • Third Space Piccadilly (MMA, Gracie Barra Jiu-jitsu Coach and Thaiboxing Coach),
  • The Real Fight Club Bishopsgate (White Collar K1 Kickboxing and MMA Coach) and
  • Dolphin Square Fitness Pimlico (K1 Kickboxing and MMA Coach).

Chris also holds the following qualifications and certifications:

  • 3rd Degree Blackbelt in K1 Kickboxing and Thaiboxing
  • Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Coach under Maurcio Gomes
  • Doce Pares Weapons Trainer under Grandmaster Danny Guba
  • Black Sash Shun Wu Tang Southern Lohan Style Kung Fu
  • Black Belt Hayashi-Ha Shito-Ryu Karate
  • ABA Level 1 Boxing Coach,
  • ABA Certified Boxing Tutor,
  • Certified Muay Thai Trainer under Thailand  Ministry of Education
  • Kru under Master Toddy’s World Muay Thai Council,
  • PGCE and QTS fully qualified UK school teacher,
  • Member of the Chartered College of Teachers
  • Fellow of the Institute of Trainers and Lecturers
  • NCFE and ILM Certified Trainer
  • A degree in Education, Sports Science and Psychology.

Photos from the Defence Lab UK National Conference, November 2017 and November 2018 with DL Founder Andy Norman and DL Crew members, as well as from NEST Awards 2018.


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